Ugly sweaters are a rite of passage in Minnesota, at least they were in the neck of the woods where I grew up. I always thought the creator must have had the same problem with blindness as Monet in his later years and the brighter colors helped them to see. There had to be some reason, or there were a lot of color blind people walking around.
Surviving the ugly sweater day in middle school when you forgot to put your clothes in the laundry room was pure agony. The only thing standing between you and a job as a circus clown were the tennis shoes and braces. Those were the days, when I’d rather be pocket lint that stand up in front of the class and give a speech.
In life we need to be careful not to wear the ugly on our sleeve. We all have flaws that make us human, but wearing them like a badge of courage is a whole other thing. Just because we’re impulsive doesn’t mean we should let it excuse bad choices. Just because we are blunt doesn’t mean we should say hurtful things.
Wearing the ugly on our sleeve is so easy to do. It sticks out like a pickle in a French fry vat. It doesn’t belong. With Christ at the center of our lives, we try to be more like him and less like ugly sweater in our closet.
As writer’s we want to avoid the Ugly Sweater complex with our manuscripts. We don’t want its flaws to stand out in ugly threads of glaring colors.
How do you avoid Ugly Manuscriptitis?
*Edit to the best of your ability before hitting send.
*Have critique buddies review your work and make changes to improve your writing.
*Train in the craft of writing for a while before trying to market your work.
*Always, Always, Always spell an Editor or Agent’s name correctly.
*Follow submission guidelines for the place you are submitting.
*Be professional. Obnoxious and pushy conference or communication behavior will slap Ugly Sweater Complex all over you.
*Make sure you don’t mass mail your queries in a way that they can see it.
*Personalize each communication opportunity by addressing them by name.
*Don’t use God as a leverage point. For example, “God told me you were supposed to be my agent.”
*Don’t criticize others in the publishing industry in public places.
*Consider the wisdom from those further along on the journey when it is given.
What other tips do you have for avoiding Ugly Manuscriptitis?